California Climate Dashboard
Closing in on our climate targets
Our path to 2030 and beyond
The 2006 California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) set a target to return greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. California surpassed this target six years early in 2014 (CARB). California’s next climate target is to reduce emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The 2022 Scoping Plan lays out how California can surpass this target, estimating a 48% reduction by 2030, in order to meet our AB 1279 target to reduce anthropogenic emissions 85% below 1990 levels in 2045 and achieve carbon neutrality (the remaining 15% of emissions in 2045 will be addressed through carbon dioxide removal).
Progress toward 2030
2020 emissions were 117 million metric tons (MMT) lower than in 2004, our peak emissions year,
equal to taking 24.8 million cars
off the road for one year
2020 emissions show a drop of 35 MMT since 2019, but 2020 was likely an anomalous year
due to COVID, and economic recovery may result in near-term increases in annual emissions.
In 2020, California was ahead of its 2020 emissions target by almost 62 MMT,
equal to taking 13.1 million cars
off the road for one year
Benefits of climate action in California
Carbon-free electric grid
In 2020, 59% of California’s total electricity generation came from non-fossil fuel sources such as solar, wind, hydropower, and nuclear power. 34.5% of the state’s retail electricity sales were served by Renewable Portfolio Standard-eligible sources such as solar and wind. The Renewable Portfolio Standard requires that California’s electricity comes from 60% carbon-free resources by 2030 and 100% by 2045. We are on track to meet these targets.
Decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from electric power from 2008 - 2020
This decrease in emissions is equivalent to approximately 14 million cars off the road for one year. Electric power emissions have decreased as renewable generation continues to replace fossil power. From 2019 to 2020, California experienced 10% growth in in-state solar generation and cleaner imported electricity incentivized by our state’s clean energy policies.
Zero-emission vehicle sales through Quarter 3 of 2022
California passed 1.4 million cumulative zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales in October 2022, making up 42% of ZEVs sold in the United States (source). The average ZEV pollutes much less than the average gasoline-powered car, even when factoring in pollution from manufacturing, charging, and driving (CARB).
In consumer savings from energy efficiency standards
Over the last 40 years, California’s appliance and building energy efficiency standards have saved consumers over $100 billion. Improved technology has allowed consumers to use less energy, saving them money, for the same quality of service. Energy efficiency can also reduce the need for new electricity generation.
Value of avoided health impacts in 2045
Many climate strategies California is implementing will improve public health and reduce health inequities. California’s 2022 Climate Change Scoping Plan estimated that our climate strategies would prevent over 5,600 premature deaths in 2045, along with many other avoided health consequences such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. This is equivalent to an annual value of at least $200 billion in avoided health impacts, including $61 billion in disadvantaged communities.
Clean energy jobs in California
Clean energy jobs in California employ five times more workers than all fossil fuel jobs combined. The workforce is made up of nearly 10% military veterans and employs over 11,000 rural Californians. Clean energy jobs also support small businesses – over a quarter of these workers are employed by a business with fewer than 5 employees (E2).
What is climate change?
Climate change is a long-term shift in average weather patterns. It is caused mainly by burning fossil fuels for energy, which releases greenhouse gases. These gases form a blanket of pollution over the earth that traps heat in the atmosphere. This effect, also known as global warming, is causing our planet to overheat, leading to more severe wildfires, droughts, floods, and more.
Why does climate change matter?
Eight in ten Californians agree that global warming is a serious threat to California’s future economy and quality of life (PPIC). In California, climate change is already causing more destructive wildfires, disrupting our water supplies, impacting our farmlands, and causing more heat waves and flooding.
California is committed to creating a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous future in a way that uplifts all Californians. Our ambitious climate efforts have led to many tangible benefits, such as improved air quality, cleaner cars, and affordable clean energy. California has become a global leader in climate action and has many climate partnerships around the world.
What is driving climate change?
There are many sources of pollution that contribute to climate change. In California, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 38% of total statewide emissions in 2020. That percentage jumps to approximately 47% when counting pollution from extracting, refining and moving transportation fuels. The 2000 – 2020 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory describes each of the slices in the adjacent pie chart in more detail. It also summarizes major annual changes and long term trends in greenhouse gas emissions.
Reducing pollution while growing the economy
California is on track to meet the goals of The California Global Warming Solutions Act, or Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), and we are doing so while growing our economy. If California were a country, it would have the fifth largest economy in the world. In 2021, our state’s GDP was over $3.3 trillion, nearly 15% of the total U.S. economy (BEA). From 2001 – 2020, emissions per person decreased by 33%, while our gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 56%.
What is California doing to combat climate change?
Water and Drought
In grants to California Communities
DWR is providing hundreds of millions of dollars in direct financial assistance through its two drought relief grant programs – small community and urban/multi-benefit – to communities who need it most for drought relief projects, to address water supply challenges, and help build local resilience. To date, the two programs have distributed $406 million to communities in need.
Californians affected by drought
January, February, and March of this year had the least rain and snow on record for any of these months in California. These warm, dry months overshadowed gains in precipitation at the end of 2021. Snow melted faster than expected, reducing snowpack to just 38% of average by April 1. This is the state’s second extreme drought in 10 years, a symptom of a warming climate. See more on California drought conditions at California Water Watch.
Gallons of water saved from California’s Turf Replacement Rebate Program from 2015 - 2020
The statewide Turf Replacement Rebate Program began in August of 2015 and continued until June 30, 2020. By the program’s end, the State was able to grant rebates for a total of 14,108 applicants, totaling $20,535,936.75 in rebate dollars, which will save an estimated 2,127 acre-feet (693,085,077 gallons) of water annually.
California is in the midst of a third year of severe drought. Climate change is spurring warmer conditions in California, intensifying drought and flood, and creating larger gaps between significant precipitation events that are vital to our water supply. California will need to continue to adapt to this changing climate by diversifying water supplies with recycling, groundwater recharge, desalination, stormwater capture, and other strategies; protecting and enhancing natural systems like rivers and wetlands; improving forecasts, and better tracking water use. All Californians can do their part by reducing their water use inside and outside the home every day.
Last year, California committed $5.2 billion to ensure water security for Californians. Given the intensification of drought, the Blueprint invests another $2.8 billion for near- and long-term actions.
- The Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund
- California Drought Assistance
- California Underserved and Small Producers (CUSP) – Drought Relief
- State Water Efficiency Enhancement Program (SWEEP)
- Water Efficiency Technical Assistance (WETA)
- Small Community Drought Relief
- California Water Watch
- Save Our Water
- California Drought Action
Cleaner vehicles than vehicles from 1975
Compared to a 1975 passenger vehicle, today’s cars are over 99 percent cleaner. Cleaner cars mean cleaner air. A 2017 Air Resources Board study shows that the cancer risk from exposure to the state’s most significant air toxics declined 76 percent over a 23-year period in California, a direct result of regulations targeting unhealthful emissions from these air pollutants. Diesel particulate matter, which is emitted mainly from trucks and buses and is responsible for most of the airborne cancer risk in California, declined 68 percent, as a result of the State’s regulatory efforts to clean up diesel exhaust.
Early deaths prevented annually through increased active transportation
Meeting the California Transportation Plan’s 2050 goal for increased walking, cycling, rolling, and transit use will help reduce dependency on driving and support healthy active lifestyles. The increase in transport-related physical activity will significantly reduce chronic diseases and prevent 102,642 years of life lost to disease, disability, and death in 2050 (compared to “business as usual”). This includes preventing 7,838 early deaths annually, while also helping to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions.
Meals provided to help feed Californians in need
SB 1383 mandates that California reduce methane emissions 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030 and recover 20 percent of edible food that would otherwise be sent to landfills by 2025. To support these targets, CalRecycle has funded projects throughout the state that have provided 86 million meals, created 345 local jobs, kept 103 million pounds of food out of landfills, and achieved greenhouse gas reductions equal to taking over 21,500 cars off the road.
In estimated health benefits from Low NOx Heavy-Duty Omnibus Regulation
Of all the measures in the State Implementation Plan (California’s blueprint for meeting federal air quality standards), the Heavy-Duty Omnibus Rulemaking is expected to provide the most Oxides of nitrogen, or NOx, emission benefits – 24 tons per day in 2031 for California-only standards. This will result in roughly 3,900 avoided premature deaths and 3,150 avoided hospitalizations statewide over the life of the rule. The rule will also have total statewide health benefits of approximately $36.8 billion.
Degrees Fahrenheit increase in average daily temperature projected by 2100
The projected temperature increase depends on greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Heat causes the most weather-related deaths in the United States. In addition to increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses and deaths, periods of extremely high temperatures worsen air quality, stress vegetation, threaten livestock health, increase agricultural and urban water demand, and strain the electric power supply.
Invested to improve resilience toward extreme heat impacts
In partnership with the Legislature, Governor Newsom advanced an $800 million package in last year’s budget to protect California’s communities from heat. The package includes $300 million to support implementation of the Extreme Heat Action Plan and numerous other investments that protect communities, the economy, and natural systems from extreme heat. The Governor is proposing to allocate this additional funding in the 2022-23 budget to support the implementation of the Extreme Heat Action Plan.
Climate change is considered the greatest global public health threat of the 21st century and affects virtually all aspects of health and well-being, including access to clean air, food, water, shelter, and physical safety. Communities across California are experiencing health impacts associated with the climate crisis today. Examples include injury, illness, and death from wildfires and wildfire smoke, extreme heat, drought, landslides, extreme weather events, vector-borne diseases, and associated mental health impacts. Through the state’s investment in community resilience, California will continue to strengthen protections for climate vulnerable communities, protect public health and safety, and increase resilience of the economy and natural systems. (CA Climate Adaptation Strategy)
The California Blueprint invests:
- $800 million toward extreme heat resilience
- $2.7 billion toward wildfire resilience
- $346 million to protect against the health risks of carbon pollution
- $1.5 billion for electric school buses to cut pollution at our kids’ schools
- $13.8 billion to build clean and accessible public transportation
- $1.4 billion to restore our natural lands, which can help fight climate change by sequestering carbon
- $1.1 billion to farmers who are on the frontlines of extreme weather
- $281 million to train 25,000 new community health workers on a variety of topics, including climate health
Reports and Regulations
- SB 1137: Protects communities against oil drilling
- AB 2238: Will create the nation’s first extreme heat advance warning and ranking system to better prepare communities ahead of heat waves
- AB 1384: Resiliency Through Adaptation, Economic Vitality, and Equity Act of 2022
- SB 246: Established the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP)
- AB 2800: Requires all state agencies to consider current and future impacts of climate change in all aspects of infrastructure planning, investment, and maintenance
- Executive Order N-19-19: Calls for embedding physical climate risk into state asset decision making, for state-owned infrastructure, transportation investments, and investment portfolios.
- Executive Order N-82-20: Directs the state to accelerate nature-based climate solutions that build resilience and contribute to carbon neutrality.
- SB 1: Requires sea-level rise be addressed within the coastal zone
- AB 9 – Community wildfire preparedness and mitigation
- California Department of Public Health – Climate Change & Health Equity
- California Climate Action Team Public Health Workgroup
- California Health In All Policies (HiAP) Initiative
- Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program (ICARP) adaptation planning, regional resilience grants, community resilience and heat grant program
- Low-Income Weatherization Program
- Farmworker Housing Energy Efficiency & Solar PV
- Community Solar Pilot Program
- Multi-Family Energy Efficiency and Renewables
- Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC)
- Transformative Climate Communities (TCC)
Carbon-free electric grid
In 2020, 59% of California’s total electricity generation came from non-fossil fuel sources such as solar, wind, hydropower, and nuclear power. 34.5% of the state’s retail electricity sales were served by Renewables Portfolio Standard-eligible sources such as solar and wind. The Renewable Portfolio Standard requires that California’s electricity comes from 60% carbon-free resources by 2030 and 100% by 2045. We are on track to meet these targets.
Clean energy jobs in California
Clean energy jobs in California employ five times more workers than all fossil fuel industries combined (89k), and 9.7% of workers are military veterans, higher than the national average of 6%. In 2019, one out of seven clean energy jobs in the US were in California. Even without the state’s top two metro areas (Los Angeles and San Francisco), California would still be home to more clean energy workers than any other state.
In consumer savings from energy efficiency standards
California’s appliance and building energy efficiency standards have saved consumers over $100 billion over 40 years.
Growth of battery storage in California in 2021
California is expanding energy storage to allow more solar and wind power into the grid. Because wind power is generated only when the wind blows, and solar energy is reduced on cloudy days, technologies that can store and supply extra power are becoming increasingly important. Energy storage benefits includes providing a steady generation of clean power, lower energy costs, and reduced climate-warming emissions.
Less energy used by Californians compared to the average American
Thanks in part to California’s efficiency standards, the state’s per capita energy use has stayed nearly flat since the early 1970s, even as the state’s economy grew by 80 percent. Today, Californians use 31 percent less energy compared to the average American.
Decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from electric power from 2008 - 2020
This decrease in emissions is equivalent to approximately 14 million cars off the road for one year. Electric power emissions have decreased as renewable generation continues to replace fossil power. California saw 10% growth in in-state solar generation and cleaner imported electricity incentivized by the state’s clean energy policies.
California is building a safe, affordable, and reliable clean energy future that benefits all communities. The state leads the world in appliance and building energy efficiency. Investments drive clean innovation and entrepreneurship that help meet the state’s climate goals. As climate change accelerates, the state needs to speed up the pace toward 100 percent clean energy. That requires California to increase coordination among energy agencies to ensure a strong grid.
- Building Initiative for Low-Emissions Development Program (BUILD)
- California Schools Healthy Air, Plumbing, and Efficiency Program (CalSHAPE)
- Energy Conservation Assistance Act
- Geothermal Grant and Loan Program
- Low Carbon Fuel Production Program
- Natural Gas Program
- School Bus Replacement Program
- Temporary and Emergency Generation Program
Zero-Emission Vehicle Package
This $10 billion ZEV package builds on Governor Newsom’s first-in-the-nation action to shift the automotive industry entirely to all electric by 2035, utilizing California’s market dominance to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles across the world and dramatically reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels. Electric vehicles have become one of the state’s top exports, and California represents half of the United States’ ZEV market. These actions are tackling the single largest culprit of pollution in California – the tailpipe.
Low-income consumers assisted under the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project
California leads the nation in support for low-income EV consumers. As of October 2022, over 98,000 rebates had been given to low-income and disadvantaged consumers under the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, and an additional 10,000 consumers utilized the Clean Cars 4 All program to replace their car with a clean vehicle. The Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project funded over 11,000 vehicles, with 60 percent in pollution-burdened communities.
Invested in public transportation
The California Blueprint invests $13.8 billion to build cleaner, faster, and more accessible public transportation while preparing for the impacts of climate change. The 2022 – 2023 budget includes $3.65 billion for the Transit Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). The TIRCP budget investments include $300 million for adapting certain rail lines to sea level rise and a minimum of $900 million in each regional allocation for priority projects. TIRCP competitive grants fund transformative projects that modernize transit systems, increase ridership, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve safety. A minimum of 25% of funding is dedicated to provide direct benefit to disadvantaged communities.
Increase in total miles traveled by vehicles
Although California’s per capita vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is roughly the same as it was in 2001, total VMT has risen by about 15%. We are far above the level needed to meet the state’s climate goals. Caltrans is working to provide access to destinations while reducing the number and length of motor vehicle trips required.
In the 2022 - 2023 budget for active transportation, such as biking and walking
Since its inception, the Active Transportation Program has funded over 800 active transportation projects across the state benefiting both urban and rural areas. More than 400 of the funded projects are Safe Routes to Schools projects and programs that encourage a healthy and active lifestyle throughout students’ lives. In addition, every cycle has seen more than 85% of funds going towards projects that will benefit disadvantaged communities throughout the state.
Of total vehicles sold were zero-emission vehicles in Quarter 3 of 2022, up from 6.84% in 2019
California is phasing out gasoline-powered cars. By 2035, all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state must be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Cumulative ZEV sales in California through Quarter 3 of 2022 were over 1.42 million. Our visionary ZEV targets have created market certainty, while our ZEV incentives have spurred innovation. As we accelerate the shift to ZEVs, we will see benefits such as cleaner air, less greenhouse gas emissions, and reduced dependency on oil.
Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. California has been working hard to reduce pollution from transportation so we can meet our climate goals. Even as our population and economy have grown, pollution from transportation has decreased substantially since its peak in 2005. We have shown that transitioning to cleaner transportation can be done while delivering benefits to low-income consumers, improving health, creating tens of thousands of jobs, and reducing our dependence on oil.
Plans and Regulations
- Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure
- California Transportation Plan
- 2020 Mobile Source Strategy
- ZEV Market Development Strategy
- Equity and Engagement Implementation Plan
- California State Bike and Pedestrian Plan
- California Sustainable Freight Action Plan
- ZEV Infrastructure Investment Plan
- Clean Vehicle Rebate Project
- Clean Cars 4 All
- Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program
- Active Transportation Program
- Low Carbon Transit Operations Program
- Clean Mobility Options
- Clean Truck and Bus Vouchers (HVIP)
- Clean Mobility in Schools
- Agricultural Worker Vanpools
- Rural School Bus Pilot Projects
- Sustainable Transportation Equity Project
- Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act
- Zero- and Near Zero-Emission Freight Facilities
- California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project
- Energy Infrastructure Incentives for Zero-Emission Commercial Vehicles
Gallons of water are estimated to be saved annually, enough to fill 70,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools
Agriculture is California’s most water-dependent industry. We have reduced on-farm water use by 14 percent from levels present in 1990, while increasing food production by 38 percent. Water use efficiency is in part on how farmers and ranchers are adapting. SWEEP has made grant awards to 1,111 projects covering 168,000 acres. $123.5 million has been awarded to date, with more than $70.5 million in matching funds. CDFA received $50 million in 2021. Of that, $10.8 million was awarded to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers, while $4.5 million was invested in projects that benefit Priority Populations.
Metric tons of carbon pollution will be sequestered because of the livestock methane reduction programs
22.1 million metric tons of carbon pollution will be sequestered over the lifespan of the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) and the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP). Over the last seven years, California has invested more than $264 million in Climate Smart Agricultural programs that focus on the dairy sector. This has resulted in more than 233 projects that will achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions of more than 2.3 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year.
Metric tons of CO2e are sequestered each year because of the Healthy Soils Program
The Healthy Soils Program stems from the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration of state agencies and departments to promote the development of healthy soils on California’s farmlands and ranchlands. The program develops practices designed to increase statewide implementation of conservation management practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) by providing financial incentives to California growers and ranchers for agricultural management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric GHGs and improve soil health. Since 2017, HSP has successfully completed four solicitations and awarded approximately $ 40 million to 618 projects impacting over 54,000 acres.
California is committed to being carbon neutral by 2045, and agriculture is part of the solution. Since 2014, the state has invested more than $643 million in climate-smart agriculture programs – from water savings, dairy digesters, healthy soils, manure management, and technical assistance. All these programs aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also have many co-benefits like soil water retention, erosion prevention, pollinator habitat, and more.
- $643.85M has been invested in CDFA’s Climate-Smart programs, which include the Healthy Soils Program (HSP), Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP), Dairy Digester Research & Development Program (DDRDP), State Water Efficiency & Enhancement Program (SWEEP), Pollinators Habitat Program (PHP), and Conservation Agriculture Planning Grants Program (CAPGP).
- HSP – $125M to improve California’s soil health to function as a living system.
- LIVESTOCK METHANE REDUCTION PROGRAMS – $321for improving the dairy industry and other livestock methane reduction practices that result in long-term emissions reductions and maximize environmental benefits.
- SWEEP – $137.5M to provide financial incentives for agricultural operations to invest in irrigation systems that save water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- PHP – $15M to prioritize and encourage biodiversity plans using locally appropriate native plant seed mixes when feasible.
- CAPGP – $17M to develop plans to help farmers and ranchers identify actions for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Goals, Policies, and Practices
- Farmer and Rancher Led Climate Solution – CDFA – OEFI – Climate – Farmer and Rancher-led Climate Change Solutions Report (ca.gov)
- Farm to School Roadmap – CDFA Office of Farm to Fork – CA Farm to School Program
- Farmer Equity Plan – 2020 Report to the Calfornia Legislature on the Farmer Equity Act
- Urban Agriculture Program
- Climate-Smart TA Program
- Farmer and Rancher Led Climate Solution
- Farm to School Roadmap
- Farmer Equity Plan
- State Water Efficiency & Enhancement Program (SWEEP)
- Healthy Soils Program (HSP)
- Dairy Digester Research & Development Program (DDRDP)
- Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP)
- Cannabis Appellations Program (CAP)
- Sustainable California Grown Cannabis (SCGC)
- Pollinator Habitats Program (PHP)
- Conservation Ag Planning Grants (CAPGP)
- Water Efficiency Technical Assistance (WETA)
- Healthy Refrigerator Program
Forestry and Wildfire
Acres treated in preparation for the upcoming wildfire season, surpassing 2025 target of 100,000
CAL FIRE and its grant recipients have conducted fuels treatment and fire prevention work on more than 110,900 acres in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which exceeds its 2025 100,000-acre goal ahead of schedule. Additional data continues to be reported to and validated by CAL FIRE.
Wildfire resilience projects launched as of July 1, 2022
The Wildfire Resilience Program has already committed $1.1 billion and has launched more than 930 projects, which includes the CAL FIRE projects and funding. Many of these projects finished within a few months of receiving funding.
Invested in fiscal years 2020 - 2023 in wildfire resilience
$2.7 billion is being invested to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and protect our forests. These projects include forest thinning, prescribed burns, grazing, reforestation, and fuel breaks.
California is facing an unprecedented and growing forest and wildfire crisis. Decades of fire exclusion, coupled with the increasing impacts of climate change, have dramatically increased wildfires’ size and intensity throughout the state. As climate change continues to exacerbate wildfire conditions, the Governor’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force is bringing federal, state, tribal, local, and private partners together to more effectively address the scale of this crisis.
A $2.7 billion investment to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and protect our forests. These projects include forest thinning, prescribed burns, grazing, reforestation, and fuel breaks:
- $482 million to enhance wildfire resilience by thinning forests, replanting trees, expanding grazing, and utilizing prescribed fire
- $100 million to help recover critical watersheds burned in
- $382 million for CAL FIRE and the CCC to complete strategic fuel breaks projects
- $44 million to “harden” homes and communities against wildfire ignitions
- $400 million on an ongoing basis to improve the health and wellness of CAL FIRE firefighters
Reports and Regulations
- AB 1757: Requires state to develop an achievable carbon removal target for natural and working lands
- Forest and Wildfire Resilience Task Force Action Plan
- 2020 Shared Stewardship Agreement between California and US Forest Service
- Executive Order N-8-22: Supports communities recovering from wildfires
- Executive Order N-24-21: Supports schools impacted by wildfire
- Executive Order N-05-19: Community Wildfire Prevention & Mitigation Report